Epic Games formally unveiled Unreal Engine 4 at GDC today. This next-gen engine is primed for the latest consoles and cutting-edge PCs, and it also scales down to mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. Its most interesting attribute might actually be the associated subscription terms. The engine is available to anyone who can afford to pay $19/month. That fee entitles users access to everything, including the full engine source code.
Developers who sell games based on Unreal Engine 4 will have to cut Epic in on the action, though. The engine maker wants 5% of "gross product revenue," which seems entirely reasonable for the full-blown version UE4.
Here's Unreal Engine guru Tim Sweeney with the official pitch:
And here's a look at the engine in action:
Unreal Engine 4's simple, affordable terms should appeal to indie developers. There's an intriguing marketplace attached to the Unreal Editor, too. The marketplace resembles the App Store, Sweeney says, and it's designed to "grow into a complete ecosystem for sharing community-created content, paid and free."
At the end of the blog post announcing Unreal Engine 4, Sweeney teases a handful of upcoming initiatives currently in development. Epic is working on support for Oculus VR, Steamworks, and Linux, including SteamOS. And we already know about Epic's work on a version of the engine that runs in a web browser.